Pregabalin is an antiepileptic medication. It has antiseizure (fits reducing) as well as antinociceptive (pain relieving) properties. The detailed mechanism of action is not fully understood. However, it is believed that it works by binding with calcium channels in the brain and nerve cells to reduce the activity of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers). Thus, it regulates the activity of the brain and nerves to treat seizures (fits) and pain.
Pregalin belongs to the anticonvulsants class of medicines. It is used to treat seizures. It is also helpful in treating nerve pain (neuropathic pain) which could be due to diabetes, shingles, or injury. It is also used in fibromyalgia (a long-lasting condition that may cause pain, muscle stiffness and tenderness, tiredness, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). In some cases, your doctor may prescribe this medicine for the treatment of anxiety.
Q. Pregalin has varied roles, does it work in the same way for each disease?
No, Pregalin works in different ways for different diseases. In epilepsy, it stops seizures by reducing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain. In chronic pain, it blocks pain messages travelling from brain to spine.
Q. I have been prescribed Pregalin for pain due to shingles. When can I expect relief from pain?
Pregalin may require a few weeks to see full benefits. However, people have felt relief from pain after a week of starting Pregalin.
Q. How long do I need to take Pregalin?
Duration for the use of Pregalin depends on the condition for which you are taking this medicine. If you are taking it for epilepsy, and it is effectively helping you then, you may have to continue it for years. If you are taking it for pain (neuropathic and fibromyalgia pain), it is likely that once your symptoms have gone you will have to continue taking it for several months to ensure stopping the problem from coming back. It is advised to not stop taking this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Q. Is it necessary to continue taking Pregalin even if I feel fine?
Even if you feel fine, you should not stop Pregalin. If you are taking it for epilepsy and suddenly stop its consumption, you may have seizures that will not stop. Stopping it suddenly may result in withdrawal symptoms and you may experience anxiety, difficulty in sleeping, feeling sick, pain and sweating. These can be prevented if the dose of Pregalin is reduced gradually.
Q. Is Pregalin addictive?
Addiction to Pregalin is more common in people who take it for unauthorized reasons. Taking more than the recommended doses and for long periods of time may also cause addiction. In addition to that, any person who has a history of drug abuse should never use Pregalin. In case you feel you are becoming physically dependent on Pregalin, inform your doctor immediately.
Q. Can I take diazepam and Pregalin together?
Yes, Pregalin and diazepam can be used together but there might be a chance of increased side effects, since both act on the brain to depress excessive activity.
Information last updated by Dr. Varun Gupta, MD Pharmacology on 13th Jan 2020. The medicine details are for information purpose only. Consult a doctor before taking any medicine.